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Cervical cancer has dramatically increased worldwide over the last few decades in both developed and developing countries. It has become the second most common cancer among women, ranking first in many developing countries. Each year, about 15,000 women in the United States learn that they have cervical cancer and there are quite a few cases in Brunei.  Cancers of the cervix are named for the type of cell in which they begin. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that form the surface of the cervix. There are two main types of cervical cancer. The most common is called squamous cell carcinoma. The other type is called adenocarcinoma.Scientists believe that some abnormal changes in cells on the cervix are the first step in a series of slow changes that can lead to cancer years later.

Early Detection

    Early detection can be done by Pap Smear test. Therefore, precancerous conditions can be detected and treated before cancer develops. Cervical smear tests aim to detect the early changes of squamous cell cancer. Pap smear can be carry out by taking a brush and a small "spatula" (Ayer's) to get some cells in the cervix, and also any abnormal areas. If abnormal cells are detected, the person should refer for colposcopy. Nowadays the doctor may do a follow up test called colposcopy to find out if further treatment is needed once the Pap test results are abnormal. (Skalka, 1995, p. 100). McPherson and Waller state that “Colposcopy means binocular inspection of the cervix with a magnification of up to 20 times” (McPherson and Waller, 2000, p. 194). Then, the most abnormal areas can be biopsied. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if the person has cancer by removing a small amount of cervical tissue.

Source: www.ricancercouncil.org/facts/

A normal cervix has a cylindrical shape and it is situated at the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The cervix forms a canal that opens into the vagina, which leads to the outside of the body.